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Tornado Survivor Killed: Boy Mauled by Dog as Family Fixes Home

By Alexandra Ward   |   Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 06:55 AM

A 5-year-old boy who survived the devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., last month was killed Sunday when a family friend's 150-pound dog attacked him in Arkansas.

The boy and his 2-year-old sister had been staying with family friends in Jessieville, Ark., while their parents worked to repair their home in Moore, which had been destroyed in the tornado that killed 24 people and injured nearly 400 on May 20.

The dog, a Bullmastiff that belonged to Lynn Geiling, 50, attacked the child around noon Sunday. He was later pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs, Ark., with severe lacerations to his head and neck.

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"The child was putting on some shoes and was crying and upset," Garland County Deputy Scott Hinojosa told NBC station KARK-TV of Little Rock. "The dog possibly took that as being aggressive and at that time the child was attacked."

Hinojosa said Monday that no decision had been reached on whether Geiling and her husband would face charges.

The dog ran away after the attack, but its body was found Monday after a neighbor shot it dead.

Bullmastiff dogs aren’t known to be particularly aggressive. They are normally bred to serve as watchdogs and protect the home. The American Bullmastiff Association does, however, caution parents to never leave young kids alone with any type of dog.

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"Never leave a child unattended with your Bullmastiff," the association said on its website. "They are pack animals and will find their natural place in the pack if left to natural processes. That place may be at the top of the pecking order instead of below younger family members if left unchecked."

Related stories:

Charities See Influx of Donations for Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Oklahoma Tornado was Widest on Record at 2.6 Miles

Red Tape Delayed Oklahoma Town's Tornado Shelter Program

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